I have a tendency to panic eat. I get so excited about what I’m doing, I forget to eat until I get to Critical Mass Hunger. CMH usually involves me sitting down wherever I am and crying. But my husband has known me for a long time, and he understands the problems that come with not feeding the Megan.
For our tip we packed all sorts of travel food. Cliff bars, almonds, craisins… we were prepared! Our first night in Paris, we got caught up in the Eiffel Tower, ate everything in my purse, and still ended up wandering the streets at midnight looking for anyone who still had an open kitchen. But we learned. I packed four cliff bars a day, not a measly little two. I ate every type of gelato food carts could offer to avoid hunger. And we did well.
Until we got to Pompeii. There is only one place to eat in the ruins of Pompeii. It’s a cafeteria. You’re wandering the ruins looking at the preserved frescos and mosaics trying to avoid stepping on any of the cute little sleeping stray dogs while thinking of the horrors of these poor people’s final hours, and you find a giant pizza sign. I just couldn’t do it. As hungry as I was, I couldn’t eat Pompeii Cafeteria pizza. So we tried to exit to go get lunch. They told us when we entered that we could leave for food. They lied.
We got all the way to the exit and couldn’t get back in if we went out. Unless we went to one restaurant that we could see right past the gate. Then the security guard would let us come back in through the exit. Yes, it really was that sketchy.
So we went to the one restaurant owned by the Pompeii mob for lunch. I got the worst food I had in Europe, and I goaded my husband into getting the meat plate. It was supposed to be steak, lamb, and veal . Well, five hunks of meat came out (instead of the promised three) on an otherwise bare plate, but they were not anything we recognized. It was a little gray, a little stringy, and very scary.
My husband ate it because that’s just what he does. And I, of course, helped by informing him that he was probably eating stray dog. We laughed about it until we got back in and really started noticing how many unfixed dogs there were. And no puppies. When we were leaving, we stopped for a panini at one of the restaurants that had been banned to us earlier in the day. One of the dogs was trying to get behind the counter and the owner was looking at the dog, smiling with an evil glint in his eyes. I think that poor puppy was the meat for tomorrow!
And that, my friends, is how my husband ate dog.